The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it will hear the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by a lawyer seeking a stay on the state’s decision to grant reservation to the Maratha community, on December 10. The PIL was filed by advocate Jishri Patil seeking to quash and set aside the notification published by the Government of Maharashtra on November 30, 2018, to provide 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community, which the petition alleges, amounts to a breach of Articles 14 and 21of the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings.
The petitioner’s lawyer, Gunratan Sadavarte, seeking a stay on the notification, argued that there are two lakh applications expected for medical and engineering courses and around 76,000 recruitment applications. The reservation granted by the state will create confusion among the candidates.
Senior Counsel VA Thorat, appearing for the state government, told the court that there is time for the college admission process and they have not publicised the recruitment process as of now.
A bench of Chief Justice Naresh H Patil and Justice M S Karnik told the counsels that it will tag all pending petitions on the issue of Maratha reservation and hear them on December 10.
The PIL said that the new law was in violation to the Supreme Court’s previous orders mandating that caste and community based reservation in states should not exceed 50 per cent. It further sought to stop “discrimination against open category” candidates at the hands of the Maharashtra government by giving reservation. The petition says that the notification, keeping alive the benefits granted to the Marathas earlier, “is bad in law”.
Other petitions pending before the court are; a petition filed by activist Hemant Patil seeking directions for not taking decision or making any announcement of reservation for the Maratha community prior to the judgment of the High Court, among others.